While Blue Grosbeak reports outside of the extreme southwest corner of the
state have become more common over the past decade, I was still very
surprised when the first bird I saw while scanning a mown hay field in far
northern Cottonwood County late this afternoon was a brilliant adult male
Blue Grosbeak - which was soon joined by a female. This field was on the
north side of 210th street, on the west side of county 5, just a bit south
of the Redwood county line. Other than the grosbeaks, only Killdeer and
starlings were present.
A half hour earlier, I enjoyed seeing a family of Gray Partridge on the
edge of the road just south of the Jeffers sewage ponds (male, female, and
at least 6 thumb-sized chicks).
In Jackson County, the Black-necked Stilts were still present at the
Christiania WPA, and a Henslow's Sparrow was singing from a mullein on the
south side of 36. The Upland Sandpipers and Buff-breasted Sandpipers
previously reported by Bob and Ron were still in the mown fields north of
county 14 west of 400th.
On the way home, there were 2 Upland Sandpipers with many Killdeer in a
freshly-cut field at the intersection of Sibley county highways 4 and 1
(southwest of Winthrop).
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